Woohoo Eddie!  So proud of our fabulous friend and amazing designer, Eddie Ross, for winning Bloomingdale’s Big Window Challenge.  His week of hard work paid off…he was the fan favorite with 51% of the votes!  Eddie was up against other big wigs, the co-founder of Apartment Therapy Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan and Eileen Joyce from Bloomingdales.  As part of the Elle Decor team, he represented our favorite shelter mag beautifully!  His chic space was created as a room in an apartment for a media mogul and mother of two.  As orange is one of my all time favorite colors, I was immediately attracted to the mod print prominently displayed on the wall.  And how cool is it paired with the muted blue molding?  I wish I could get a better glimpse of that amazing blue glass lamp hiding in the corner!  That gold shade may have to make its way to my house…. :)

Info on this victory courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, Casa Sugar.





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Museum Quality

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 31, 2010 | 4 Comments | Category: Art, Gifts, Shops and Showrooms

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On one of the last days before my children headed back to school for the Spring Semester- one back to Los Angeles, one back to Boston and one just back to the books at home, we decided to head to the city for a visit to the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.  As I reported in a post back in September, the Modern Wing is one of my favorite places in the city and is truly as beautiful on a cold winter’s day as is was back in the summer and fall.

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Located in the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, the highly anticipated Terzo Piano is a must-stop for lunch and Thursday dinner. It featuresthe signature cuisine of Chef Tony Mantuano, who has been delighting Chicagoans for years at the four-star Italian restaurant, Spiaggia. The food is all fresh, local, organic and sustainably produced. There is even an authentic cava di stagionatura (cheese cave), where some of America’s most interesting artisanal cheeses are kept at ideal temperature and humidity. Outside you can dine al fresco on the covered piazza, while enjoying spectacular views of Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue and the Bluhm Family Terrace. Unfortunately, today was not one of those picture perfect piazza kind of days with the temperature hovering at around 28 degrees…..

Here is the beautiful rooftop deck of Terzo Piano- this picture was obviously taken in another season. Only 5 more months until we will feel that kind of sunshine here in Chicago…..

The interior of the restaurant is white, fresh and endearingly modern. Our lunch being over was quite a sad event but now was the time- after browsing countless priceless pieces of art that we came to the part of the museum experience that makes my credit card start to exit my wallet in anticipation: the gift shop.

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Museum gift shops have become destinations in themselves.  Filled with unique, tasteful gifts, museum gift shops are the place to go to find a hostess gift, birthday present or even a little something for yourself!  Needless to say…I did not leave empty handed that day :)

Check out some of the cool finds in the gift shop at the Modern Wing at the Art Institute….

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Computation clock…Color and style will work with almost every  decor. Adds a bit of whimsy.

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Modern lighting galore…
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These vases would be beautiful with a single bright bloom to help us get through these gray days of winter.

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Interesting and textural bowl for a dose of color on a tabletop or placed on a shelf for a more rugged perspective.

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Lucite candelabra.  Just add candles and you have an amazing centerpiece.  Have placed this on a white Saarinen table.  Looked really nice. Clean and simple.

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Check out the online shop here for more amazing finds.  What are some of your favorite museum shops?  And, what did you find?





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Part II comes after popular demand for more movie and television interiors.  I must say that after “Living in the Movies” Part I, I found myself thinking about movie/television interiors that I had forgotten, and thank you MG readers for reminding me!  So let’s take another look at some of the most interesting and beautiful on- screen homes.

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{Iris’s house, “The Holiday”}

{It’s Complicated”}

{It’s Complicated”}

{It’s Complicated”}

{“Mr. and Mrs. Smith”}

{“Mr. and Mrs. Smith”}

{“Mr. and Mrs. Smith”}

{Napa home in “Parent Trap”}

{Napa home in “Parent Trap”}

{Napa home in “Parent Trap”}

{Napa home in “Parent Trap”}

{Exterior of Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment in “Sex and the City”}

{Carrie’s apartment, after the renovation}

{Carrie’s apartment, after the renovation}

{Carrie’s apartment, after the renovation}

{Exterior of Hamptons home in “Something’s Gotta Give”

{Living Room, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{Living Room, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{Living Room, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{Dining Room, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{Kitchen, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{Master Bedroom, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{Pool, “Something’s Gotta Give”}

{“Australia”}

{“A Perfect Murder”}

{“The Lake House”}

{“The Lake House”}

UPDATE: If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out my post on some of my favorite chandeliers from TV and movie sets. They are simply stunning!





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Eat and Art

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 25, 2010 | 1 Comment | Category: Art

Have a passion for food, wine and art?  Well then I’ve got the event for you!  One of Chicago’s favorite eateries, Blackbird, is hosting a “Salon Series Dinner” on January 27, where Blackbird’s master chef Michael Sheerin is creating a meal in collaboration with and response to the work of four featured artists.  In addition to being talented artists, all four have at one point worked at Blackbird!

The event includes a 5 course meal, specifically designed to be paired with the showcased artwork.  The evening of divine dining and amazing art costs $115 dollars, and with space limited at this unique event, better call today to make a reservation!





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{Evanston home that inspired this article.  It has been used in the film “Baby on Board” in addition to others}

As both a designer and a self proclaimed “housie,” (house version of a “foodie”) I’m always on the look out for beautiful homes in television and movies.  Honestly, there are times that I have completely lost track of the plot because I am so enthralled with the decor and/or architecture.  After recently reading an article in the Chicago Tribune detailing an Evanston woman’s “movie house” experiences, I decided to do a little digging to uncover some of my own favorite on screen abodes.

{The illustrious home of Cameron from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, also located in suburban Chicago}

{Beautiful Victorian from “Ground Hog Day”}

{Nora Walker’s Pasadena home in “Brother and Sisters”}

{Kitchen from “Brothers and Sisters”}

{Backyard party from “Brothers and Sisters”}

{Apartment in “Down with Love”}

{Apartment in “Down with Love”}

{Pasadena home in “Father of the Bride”}

{Exterior of the Humphrey’s Brooklyn loft in “Gossip Girl”}

{The Humphrey’s Brooklyn loft in “Gossip Girl”}

{The Humphrey’s Brooklyn loft in “Gossip Girl”}

{Exterior of Nate Archibald’s Upper East Side home in “Gossip Girl”}

{Interior of Nate’s home in “Gossip Girl”}

{Nate’s home in “Gossip Girl”}

{East Hampton estate in “Grey Gardens”}

{East Hampton estate in “Grey Gardens”}

{East Hampton estate in “Grey Gardens”}

{Amanda’s Los Angeles home in “The Holiday”}

{Interior of Amanda’s Los Angeles home in “The Holiday”}

{Interior of Amanda’s home in “The Holiday”}

{Kitchen in Amanda’s home from “The Holiday”}

{Bedroom from Amanda’s home in “The Holiday”}

{Amanda’s bathroom in “The Holiday”}

This list could go on forever…there are so many fabulous movie homes and interiors!  Do you have any favorites?  I’d love to hear…and maybe do a Part II!

All images via Hooked on Houses and The Chicago Tribune.





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Want to have Breakfast at Tiffany’s….with Audrey?  Or gaze at the Mona Lisa….over morning coffee?  Well, now you can! The quirky design company Generate has developed a series of “mosaic fridge magnets” to turn your good old refrigerator into a work of art!  Designs include Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Audrey Hepburn and James Bond.  You have the option of purchasing the “warm colors” color scheme or the “grey” color scheme, each including six funky designs and instructions…for only $99!.  Sounds like a great gift idea!

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Yes, Kanye has a blog and yes, I read it.  Don’t be too quick to judge…he has very fascinating taste and showcases  not only the latest from the world of hip-hop but also what is on the cutting edge of the art, architecture and design worlds as well.  Kanye is quite the well-rounded gentleman!

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In the design section I came across an incredible find….a kitchen island covered in legos!  Take a look and see for yourself. Parisian designers Simon Pillard and Philippe Rosetti purchased a basic kitchen island and transformed it with over 20,000 legos.  Who says you have to put the legos away once you reach the age of about 10?  Certainly not these two!

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Rebel Yell

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 13, 2010 | 8 Comments | Category: Decorating, Designers, Furniture

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Ever heard the old adage, “There’s nothing new under the sun?”  Well, I am going to have to object to this statement, because I do not believe these outta-this-world pieces of furniture have EVER been done before and seriously bends the rules of convention….an armchair with a stuffed crow resting on it?  According to these guys, why not?  The company is Jimmie Martin, an uber-cool Swedish duo who creates pieces that aim to be a combination of, “the decadent and the quirky with the nostalgic and urban.”  I gotta say, these pieces are pretty spectacular.  I am not sure (yet…) if they are for me, but the more I look into Jimmie Martin the more I can envision the gilt sideboard (below) or the Stripy desk (below) in the homes of clients…or even my own!  Whenever I think I truly have seen it all, I come across something like Jimmie Martin that reminds me of the sheer talent that is really out there and so much that I still have yet to discover.

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Gilt Sideboard

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Stripy Desk

Some other wonderfully outrageous pieces from Jimmie Martin…

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All Jimmie Martin pieces are made-to-order and hand finished.  Want more info on Jimmie Martin?  The Kensington based company has a website that you should most definitely check out: click here!





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And the Winner Is…

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 10, 2010 | 8 Comments | Category: Color, Design Inspiration

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Turquoise!  Winner of what, might you ask?  Pantone’s “Color of the Year” for 2010, of course!  As the official press release on the “color solutions” company’s website states, “turquoise transports us to an exciting, tropical paradise while offering a sense of protection and healing in stressful times.”  It’s official color name, in case you were interested in picking up a paint sample or repainting your entire dining room this color (idea for next project, perhaps?) is 15-5519.

Turquoise has a long an influential history in the world of colors, from being a “protective talisman” in some cultures to a color of healing to a color of deep faith.  Additionally, turquoise can be paired nicely with almost any color in the spectrum, is fairly unisex and works well in almost any space.  Whether you choose to incorporate turquoise in a large or a small way, it never seems to disappoint.

I certainly am a fan of this lovely hue and have used in many times throughout my own designs.  Now I thought it would only be appropriate to do a little ode to turquoise!

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Perez, Pets and Paintings

Posted By Julia-Chicago | Jan 08, 2010 | 10 Comments | Category: Art, Celebs

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I am a Perez Hilton reader, guilty as charged.  Who doesn’t want to know about Lindsay Lohan’s (fondly dubbed “La Loca” or “Lindsanity” by Perez) latest breakdown or which celebs were spotted this week courtside at the Lakers game?  Whether or not you are interested in all of the celebrity gossip, you have to check out the animal portraiture that I discovered on Perez.  Animal artist Sam Charles Hodgson painted a portrait back in August of Perez’s adorable labordoodle, Teddy, and I have been meaning to share these remarkable works of art with MG.

This is not your traditional animal artwork.  They are so beautiful and tasteful, and not at all what animal artwork too often winds up being…downright creepy.  Rather, Hodgson’s contemporary take infuses the work with bright colors and an almost pop-art quality.  As the owner of two beloved dogs, I would love to have my “girls” immortalized by Sam Charles Hodgson! Check out some of Hodgson’s work below and let me know what you think.

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Sam also does wild animal portraiture too!

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